Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Charles Lewis
Investigative Journalist, Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. and Author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity"
WHYY 06/28/2014
Lewis: And so you have a situation here. They know who his source was. Moyers: They do? Lewis: They do. And they have multiple ways in which they've identified who it is. And that's why they brought a case and they have enough evidence that they hope and they think to convict this person. they've already – Moyers: They want to convict the source? Lewis: They want to convict the source and they want Jim Risen to convict the source. And they want to have Jim Risen be the one who helps them do it. But they don't want to necessarily betray their intelligence ways that they found out that may or may -- they may be legal, because they're government employees, but they're going to appear to be unseemly because they involved monitoring of employees and pulling all kinds of things. So we have a little -- another strange thing going on here where the government doesn't really want to go anywhere near this subject. And so they would like -- so we're all looking at Jim Risen and whether he goes to prison. And the real issue is actually the government.
Charles Lewis
Investigative Journalist, Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. and Author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity"
WHYY 06/28/2014
Lewis: What are they mad about? Well, he did a story and a chapter in his book, "state of war," that actually showed that the CIA sent nuclear information to Iran. Oops. And they are livid. Moyers: Something we might want to know about. Lewis: >> yep. yeah, yeah. exactly. Moyers: right? might want to know that the government responsible to the people was actually making these serious mistakes? Lewis: yeah. it's unbelievable that they were doing that. and it's unbelievable. and so risen breaks that story in the book. and they are mad that he did this. and they, frankly, embarrassed them. And so they're trying -- this is retribution. I think it has very little to do with anything but retribution. But I also think what is really disturbing now is the difficulty of doing this type of reporting was never easy. Now it is probably more difficult than it's ever been in U.S. history. And President Obama has used the Espionage Act against journalists more than any president in U.S. history.
Charles Lewis
Investigative Journalist, Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. and Author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity"
WHYY 06/28/2014
Moyers: I think even Nixon only used it once against – Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the pentagon papers. And obama's used it how many? Lewis: Eight times. it's unbelievable, and – Moyers: The espionage act. Lewis: Right, the espionage act. and who would've ever imagined that? This is something Obama never talked about in campaigns. He never publicly said he was going to go do this. And like a lot of things in his administration, he's trying to have it both ways. He's supporting a shield law, to some extent, in congress for journalists. but on the other hand, he's criminalizing investigative reporting by going after sources. And so he's throwing a bone, or being accommodating to the national security establishment in Washington, which, you know, in just a couple-year period, did 76 million classified documents. Far more than any time in U.S. history.
Charles Lewis
Investigative Journalist, Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. and Author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity"
WHYY 06/28/2014
Moyers: So what's at stake if we do silence and punish whistle-blow whistle-blowers? Lewis: Well, what's at stake is whistle-blowers won't come forward. They know they're going to be prosecuted. They know they're being monitored. A lot of sources have dried up. There have been some panels in the last year, too, in the journalistic realm. And folks have talked about how it's harder to find people to talk now because they fear retribution. They know that the surveillance has gotten incredibly intense and the stakes are incredibly high. And they get that. And so a lot of folks who might be inclined to leak and leakers are wonderful. Because they tell reporters what they don't already have and they can't find in any document. They're very essential.
Charles Lewis
Investigative Journalist, Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. and Author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity"
WHYY 06/28/2014
Lewis: It was the extent of this. This is a systemic problem we have here. We have an inability to get the truth in real time. And the media has complete inability to find out the truth in real time. And when it's right in front of their face, they don't always report it. And so we really have a problem here because, if we don't know what the truth is in this country, we don't have a country. It's end of story. It's not our country anymore. This is fundamental. And if the public doesn't care about facts then journalists, frankly, are not terribly relevant either.
Charles Lewis
Investigative Journalist, Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. and Author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity"
WHYY 06/28/2014
Moyers: You know James Risen, "the New York Times" reporter, right? Lewis: uh-huh. Moyers: He has refused to testify before a grand jury, under subpoena, and reveal a confidential source of information in his book, "State of War," about the secret U.S. campaign against the Iranian nuclear program. The Supreme Court has refused to hear his case. And Risen now says he will go to jail if necessary. What are the stakes in this case? Lewis: well, they're very high. I mean, there's very -- they're very high for Jim in particular, obviously. He could end up in prison, found in contempt by a judge for not testifying, not answering some questions the government asks. If it gets to that point. There is a chance that the U.S. Justice Department will choose to not proceed at this point.
Charles Lewis
Investigative Journalist, Executive Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in D.C. and Author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity"
WHYY 06/28/2014
Lewis: There's only about 15 or so people that do that (national security reporting) full-time in the United States. In a country of 300-plus million people, only 15 or so do it for a full-time job. And Jim Risen happens to be one. And as you know he's the one who co-authored the domestic surveillance stories that won the Pulitzer back in '05. Today the dirty little secret in Washington is that we have thousands of cameras. Every cell phone has a gps tracking device. And you also can't check into any government agency and sign in to get in to meet with someone because the government has that information and they'll know who came. And if you call them, their calls are potentially monitored. And there is a general belief widely shared that your emails are scraped, or at least accessed. Lewis: know journalists who've been told privately by folks in the NSA and elsewhere that that's basically not untrue.
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